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Who Pays for Gareth? Relying on Reservists: The UK Government's Strategic Defence and Security Review

Alcock, Sue; Murphy, Peter; Greenhalg, K; Taylor, L


Sue Alcock

Peter Murphy

K Greenhalg

L Taylor


The ‘Whole Force Concept’ is defined as ‘a mixture of Regulars, Reservists, MoD civil servants and contractors that is balanced to provide the most flexible and cost-effective capability’ (SaBRE 2014). Within the context of the transition of the British Army from ‘Territorial Army’ and ‘Regulars’ to the Whole Force Concept proposed by the UK Government, we aim to explore the implications of the UK Government’s ‘Offer to Employers’.
Given the key role of civil-military relationships in enabling Reservists to carry out any extended duties, we seek to outline the case for exploring perceptions about the civilian employment of Reservists, from the perspectives of both employers and Reservists themselves.
In examining the nature of this relationship, we aim to understand the potential of the offer to employers relative to the retention and future recruitment of the Reserve Forces, and its role in enabling the British Army to meet the demands of the Whole Force Concept.
This initial research has found the current numbers of employers willingly engaging Reservists is potentially smaller than the UK Government anticipates and that employers consider that the benefits from employing Reservists will only flow one way, i.e. towards the MoD. Furthermore, despite the offer to employers focusing mainly on smaller employers, we suggest that larger employers may be affected in a similar way to smaller ones. We conclude that further research is needed to fully assess the true costs of employing a Reservist.


Alcock, S., Murphy, P., Greenhalg, K., & Taylor, L. (2015). Who Pays for Gareth? Relying on Reservists: The UK Government's Strategic Defence and Security Review. 00 Journal not listed, 14(1),

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 15, 2015
Online Publication Date Mar 15, 2015
Publication Date Mar 15, 2015
Deposit Date Feb 25, 2019
Journal Journal of Finance and Management in Public Services
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 14
Issue 1
Keywords Strategic Defence Review, Reserve forces, austerity, budgeting
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